A friend of mine suggested one time that when you enter a race or a competition, you should have three goals.

The first goal is the perfect-day scenario where everything goes great, you feel awesome, the stars align, and you really are able to perform at the top of your game. The second is the, “Even if things donít go perfectly, I think I can accomplish this” goal. It is, perhaps, more realistic, but still challenges you to go out there and give it your best. And the final goal is what you would be happy with if it really just wasn’t your day.

I’ve had days and races for each one of those scenarios. I’ve also had these goals at the back of my mind during this pregnancy. At the very least I want to still be active at the end. But my perfect-day scenario would have me running sub-9:00 miles on my normal running route, which is 5-6 miles, without walk breaks in the weeks before I give birth. And in the middle is the middle ground: maybe I do need a walk break or two. Maybe my pace is right around 9:00, sometimes give, sometimes take.

I still have a month and a half to see which way things go, but at this point I’m feeling great. I’m feeling strong. I’ve had more “perfect day” runs than I have had “middle ground” runs.

I’ve learned that my body takes a little bit longer to warm up to a run when I’m pregnant, so giving it a little extra time to adjust can mean the difference between a frustrating run and a really great, fulfilling one. I’ve been able to keep up with my normal routine – like pushing the boys in the jogger to Trader Joe’s once a week – without any difficulty.

I am happy with what I am able to do with my body so late in the pregnancy. I don’t think I’ve been able to run such long distances so comfortably in my third trimester. (Chalk one up to the compression pants again!)

The Under Armour What’s Beautiful challenge has really helped me to see what I am capable of and to see that – and my big pregnant body – as beautiful. So, once again, I’m encouraging you to go for it!

Go to whatsbeautiful.ua.com, set up a profile, make a goal, and challenge. See how beautiful you can be by seeing what beautiful things you can do.

How do you keep motivated to meet your personal fitness goals? Leave a comment letting me know, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $500 Under Armour gift card!

SWEEPSTAKES/GIVEAWAY RULES

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion, including exactly the following unique terms in your tweet message: ì#whatsbeautifulî ì#sweepstakesî; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post. To comply with FTC Guidelines (see http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm), entrantsí blog posts must disclose that they are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post.

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 6/12-6/30.

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